» What’s Next in Tech: 2015 and Beyond!

Tech WebinarYesterday, we hosted our monthly educational webinar for premium members. WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly shared his insights into the past, present and future of technology. This annual series is always one of our most fun and interesting webinars!

From wearable tech to the internet of things and health improvements, we have a lot of exciting things to look forward to both in business and everyday life.

Find below a snapshot of Sonny’s top 10 emerging tech trends, and be sure to check out the full webinar any time in our Education Center!

  • Social: Social media is still a place where our audiences spend a lot of their time. However, the focus of sharing is shifting from text updates and tweets to sharing photos and video on emerging social sites such as Instagram, Tumblr and Snapchat.
  • Mobile: Our smartphones are continuing to evolve, and will take over our desktops. Screens are getting larger, and wireless energy is being developed to make us fully accessible at all times. It will be easier than ever to run your business on-the-go!
  • Payments: Devices are going to take the place of our money and wallets. Smart technology and secure apps such as Coin and iPay are being created and rolled out to the masses to make payments seamless without paper and plastic.
  • AR/VR: This stands for Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. These are both tools that can help you learn more about the world around you, and make your life easier by integrating technology into our daily lives and work through a wearable device, or integrating with our tech like phones and tablets.

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» Should You Try Mobile Opt-in Marketing?

Should You Try Mobile Opt-in Marketing?By now your wedding business should be aware that mobile marketing is on the rise. While you know it’s something your business should be doing, it’s another thing entirely to start up a mobile marketing campaign or program! You can mobilize your website, Storefront and emails, but those are not your only options for reaching engaged couples on their mobile devices.

If you’re interested in sending immediate information on a more personalized basis, here’s a brief introduction to mobile opt-in marketing!

What it is

Traditional marketing tactics do not require your target audience to opt-in because most traditional marketing tactics are 1-to-many – meaning that one business is communicating with many people with one message. Traditional marketing tactics include print advertising, direct mail or radio and television ads. With the social media revolution, social networks opened up two-way communication with their audience. Now users can “like” your business’ page on Facebook and interact directly with your business. This change caused other changes in marketing strategies to shift from sending a mass message to crafting more relevant and timely messages based on behavior.

Opt-in marketing means that users have given your business permission to send them information on a 1-to-1 basis. The best and most popular use of opt-in marketing is email marketing – if you don’t have explicit permission to email a given person (whether they opt-in through your website or establish a business connection with you) you’re likely to be marked as spam and suffer other penalties.

Mobile opt-in marketing is very similar to email marketing, except that instead of giving you permission to send them emails, users are giving you permission to send them voice, text or other mobile messages to their smartphones or cell phones. Mobile opt-ins go beyond being able to interact with your business via smartphone; the user is giving you permission to push messages directly to their phone number.

How to do it

If you’ve ever opted-into an email newsletter list for a publication or individual business, you’ve seen how easy it can be! You’ll need to create a form to collect the phone numbers as well as some simple legal language to lay out your terms and conditions. These terms will explain in detail what you are and are not allowed to do with the user’s phone number. CTIA – The Wireless Association and Mobile Marketing Association have some great best practices for messaging consumers in the U.S.

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» 4 Tips to Prepare for What’s Next in Tech

When it comes to technology, the only barrier is imagination! This makes it hard to know what may come next, and technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Feel overwhelmed? These four tips provide some insight into what is to come next in technology this year and beyond that will impact Wedding Pros like you. Stay ahead of the latest updates and see into the future of your business with our latest infographic, 4 Tips to Prepare for What’s Next in Tech.

» Key Takeaways: What’s Next in Tech

Key Takeaways: What's Next in TechWebinar Recap!

This week, WeddingWire CMO Sonny Ganguly presented our monthly webinar, What’s Next in Tech! Sonny shared his top predictions for the future of technology – and how they may impact your business through next year and beyond.

During the webinar, Sonny shared lots of surprising tech trends, the latest exciting new technologies and how they may impact our daily lives and businesses in the future.  Below are his top four tech recommendations to keep in mind as we consider what may be coming next in our technology-focused and fast paced world.

1) Change is the only constant: Technology is evolving at a rapid pace. Don’t get too comfortable with your technology of today – and be sure to keep yourself and your business on par with what is happening in the technology space of today to stay competitive and tech-forward with your business. Remember, when it comes to technology, the only barrier is imagination!

2) Social expansion is on the rise: Social media can no longer be considered a fad. In the past few years, the keys to social media success have been YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. However, emerging social networks are growing fast, including Google+, Pinterest, Instagram and Tumblr – and your target audiences are spending a lot of time on these sites. Consider expanding your business’ social networks to reach more new clients!

3) We are in the mobile revolution: Within the next 9 months, there will be more mobile devices than people on earth, and we are quickly shifting to a ‘mobile first’ world where people are actively opening email, searching the web and sending inquires on phones and tablets over desktops. How does your website look on a mobile device? Mobile and tablet friendly web design is crucial to business success from clients searching for you from their devices. If you haven’t mobilized your site, get started with the Mobile Website Creator tool and have an easy-to-use and visually appealing mobile business site in minutes.

4) It’s time to prepare for the internet of things: By 2020, there will be 50 billion connected devices. These will include self-driving cars, health-monitoring watches, smart eyewear and more. Our everyday technologies will also simultaneously ‘talk’ to one another. For example, if you get an email that your morning meeting was delayed, your alarm clock could be notified to sleep in 15 minutes later, and your commute could be adjusted for your car’s GPS to take into account a different traffic pattern automatically.

Learn more about all the emerging technology and these big four trends by viewing the full webinar! Also, all of our past webinars are available in our Education Center for premium Pros if you want to check out past webinars you may have missed.

Stay tuned for information about next month’s webinar: Top Business Resolutions 2014!

» What the Tech?! Social, Mobile & Tech Trends

As technology constantly evolves, it can be difficult to stay on top of the latest tech trends that could impact your business. It’s important to not be afraid of what’s to come as technology continues to grow at a rapid pace and change how business is conducted. When it comes to technology, never say never!

From the latest social media sites, to the future of mobile and the next big movements in technology, this infographic will help you see what’s next.

What the Tech?! Social, Mobile & Tech Trends | WeddingWireEDU Blog

» Top 10 Instagram Statistics

By now, you have likely heard of the wildly popular photo sharing app, Instagram! This past year, Instagram has launched exciting new features including web profiles, video sharing, and recently promoted ads. However, it’s not only Instagram’s strong brand awareness, frequent new feature roll-out and overall app popularity that are making it one of the most engaging channels on social media.

Check out these top 10 Instagram statistics about the app and its high levels of engagement:

  1. There are currently 150 million active monthly users
  2. Over 16 billion photos have been shared
  3. 1.2 billion likes occur every day
  4. 55 million photos are shared on average each day
  5. 1000 comments occur per second on Instagram
  6. Currently the average photo receives an average of 37 interactions per 1,000 followers, while videos get an average of 24 interactions per 1,000 followers
  7. The top three most popular photo filters are Lo-fi, X-Pro II, and Mayfair
  8.  The most popular day to post is Thursday, but Sundays receive the most interaction for the average user
  9. On average, you get one comment for every 33 likes as a brand
  10. The average user spends 257 minutes per month on Instagram

If you haven’t done so already, consider creating an Instagram account for your business today by downloading the app in Apple iTunes or Google Play on your iPhone or Android device.

Unsure about what to post? Share an inside look at your work, more about your brand personality and what inspires you, great images of your work at events and more. And, while you’re at it, be sure to follow WeddingWireEDU to keep up with our events, conferences, the team and more!

» 7 Surprising App Stats

It’s no secret that mobile technology is quickly becoming an all-in-one platform to which we’re all connected. In fact, within 4 months mobile use will actually surpass desktops, and within 9 months there will be more mobile devices than people on earth! We’re in the middle of a mobile revolution – is your business ready? Check out these seven mobile app stats that may surprise you!

Also, be sure to stop by our Pinterest page and check out our board, Apps to Make Your Life Easy, for our suggestions apps to help you manage your business and stay organized!

7 Surprising App Stats | WeddingWireEDU Blog

» What We Learned at Digital East 2013

What We Learned at Digital East 2013This week, members of the WeddingWire team attended Digital East 2013, DC’s premier gathering of marketers, entrepreneurs, web strategists and other professionals in the digital realm. Speakers included representatives from industry leaders such as Twitter, Buzzfeed and Facebook. WeddingWire’s own Senior Email Marketing Manager Matt Byrd also spoke on email trends, tools and tactics.

We had a great time learning about content strategy, mobile marketing, customer engagement, social media, email marketing, search marketing and more, so we can share some of the best education with you and work to apply it here at WeddingWire!

Check out our highlights of upcoming digital trends from the conference:

  1. Only 20% of what you post on social media should have a conversion goal (get a new lead). The other 80% should be split between providing information, entertaining your followers and prompting interaction. Prompt interaction whenever possible – remember, interaction is the “social” in “social media.”
  2. Visual content is on the rise. In fact, on average, articles containing relevant images have 94% more total views than articles without images. Try out visual networks like Pinterest and Instagram. Make sure your blog posts have images to break up your text and link posts on Facebook and Twitter with images for increased engagement.
  3. The growth of mobile is driving new strategies for content creation, content consumption and advertising. Businesses need to be smarter about how they are interacting with consumers on mobile devices. The first step? Make your site mobile-friendly!
  4. Marketing is becoming more and more data-driven. The ability to track the success of marketing tactics is becoming more important in determining the true return on investment (ROI) for marketing dollars. This trend can be seen across all industries, from business to politics.
  5. Interacting with customers on a variety channels is becoming the norm. New technologies will not kill older forms of media – just as TV didn’t actually kill off radio – but they will change the way we consume certain types of media. It’s important to keep all these channels in mind, such as social networks, websites and blogs, when coming up with strategies.
  6. Changes in search engine optimization (SEO) tactics and regulation are making it more important than ever to not only understand the keywords your customers are using, but also what those keywords say about the customer’s behavior. The better you know your customers, the better you can anticipate and predict their needs to be their top business choice!

We enjoyed meeting the best of the best in the digital world, and we’re so excited to use what we’ve learned to help power our Pros! What do you think about these trends?

» Tablet Takeover: The Latest Stats

So far, 2013 has been the year of the tablet! PC sales are down, and we are quickly entering a “one screen world” where work, phone, music, entertainment and more are all centered around a tablet.

Once a novelty item, tablets have become mainstream devices – and often the computing device of choice for businesses, families, consumers and more on-the-go.

Check out some latest must-know tablet stats:

What do you think? Is your business ready for the “tablet takeover?”

Check out all 15 stats here from CMO.com!

» All About Embracing Video Marketing!

Have you considered adding a personalized business video (or videos!) to your business website or WeddingWire Storefront? Take a look at a few highlights of these recent statistics from Hubspot regarding the influence of video on potential clients to help make your decision!

  • 40% of people will respond better to a visual then to text
  • 46.1% of people believe that the design of a business website shows their credibility
  • Adding videos will attract 3x the traffic as just text
  • 85% of online users in the US watch videos
  • 60 hrs of videos are uploaded on YouTube each minute
  • 100% more time is spent on pages with videos
  • 85% of people are more likely to purchase something after they have watched a video

So, you can see that video content is important! We make it easy to create a customizable video by taking advantage of the Video Builder tool in all premium WeddingWire accounts! Already have one? You are able to create unlimited videos, so consider creating different themes to show off your breadth of skills and work in action.

Just follow this user-friendly step by step guide:

  • Sign into your WeddingWire account, and navigate to the Marketing tab
  • Click on ‘Video Builder
  • Click ‘Create New Video’
  • Select the type of video you want to create from the drop down list (Commercial, Events, Holidays, Real Weddings, or Seasons)
  • Select your theme. When scowling over each theme with your mouse, hit the ‘preview’ button to see a sample video using that specific theme
  • Hit select when you find your perfect theme
  • Add anywhere from 10-25 photos from your WeddingWire albums by clicking on the photos you would like to add.Once you have added your photos, you can click and drag them to  a specific order. Note: You are not able to add video within the video builder.
  • Now hit ‘Next: Add Soundtrack’
  •  Pick a song from the music library that is the best fit for your video. Note: You are not able to add your own soundtrack, but there are a lot of great options here!
  • Now hit ‘Next: Create Video’
  • Add text to your video. First give your video a title! You also have 4 boxes to add your business tagline and facts.
  • Hit ‘Create Video’ once you have added your text and you’re done!

To find your finished video look in the Marketing tab and under the ‘Video Builder.’ Click on the video name and then hit “yes” to display the video on your Storefront. Once it is published to your Storefront, you are also able to share it on your website and social media networks to get that great traffic and exposure to potential clients! Have questions about the tool? We’re here to help!

Interested in more video marketing tips? Check out this past post!

» What’s Next in Tech: Predictions for the Future

Technology is evolving at a rapid pace and transforming our world! It is exciting to embrace new and emerging technology that will impact our daily lives and our businesses, and WeddingWire is committed to helping you stay on top of the latest tech trends and prepare for the future.

Check out our latest [INFOGRAPHIC] on WeddingWireEDU’s top tech trends and predictions for 2013 and beyond!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

» What’s the Big Deal on Deals?

With the announcement of Groupon’s IPO earlier this week, there is a lot of buzz around what will happen with the concept of online deal sites in the future. The deal space continues to expand with Groupon, LivingSocial, Facebook Deals, and many competitors offering “the best deals” to consumers locally and nationwide.

We thought we’d share some interesting stats you may not have known about this relatively new form of marketing, for more details see the original article here.

50% of online consumers will redeem a coupon in 2011

Most Users are Females, 18 – 34

Groupon traffic grew by 712% from 2009 to 2010

Average time spent on group buying sites increased by 153%

Spend set to increase to $3.9b by consumers in 2015